African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6668

Full Length Research Paper

Prospects and constraints faced by smallholder farmers in the cultivation of GM crops: A case study from Northern Ghana

Zakaria H.
  • Zakaria H.
  • Department of Agricultural Innovation Communication, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Sciences, University for Development Studies, Box 1882 Tamale, Ghana.
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Obeng F. K.
  • Obeng F. K.
  • Department of Agricultural Innovation Communication, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Sciences, University for Development Studies, Box 1882 Tamale, Ghana.
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Quainoo A. K.
  • Quainoo A. K.
  • Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Sciences, University for Development Studies, Box 1882 Tamale, Ghana.
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Abujaja A. M.
  • Abujaja A. M.
  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Science Education, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
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  •  Received: 26 September 2021
  •  Accepted: 15 November 2021
  •  Published: 31 March 2022

Abstract

As Ghana prepares to commence commercialization of Genetically Modified (GM) crops, this paper reports findings of a survey that sought the views of smallholder farmers in northern Ghana on the likely prospects and constraints of GM crops cultivation. Multi-stage sampling techniques were employed to sample 360 smallholder farmers across ten districts in northern Ghana with interviews, guided by semi-structured questionnaires, and focus group discussions used to gather data for the study. Descriptive statistics and Kendall’s coefficient of concordance were applied to analyze the data gathered. The prospects of GM technology according to the smallholder farmers surveyed were that GM technology can be used to breed drought-tolerant, early maturing, and high yielding local crop varieties and also help reduce the cost of weed, pest, and disease control. While their perceived constraints to the cultivation of GM crops were the probably high cost of GM seed, unreliable supply of GM seed, likely failure of regulatory agencies, and possible environmental and health risks among others. It is recommended to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and other relevant organizations to address farmers’ concerns and reservations over the possible high cost of GM seeds and the fear that GM seed supply might not be reliable.

Key words: Prospects, constraints, GM crops, agricultural biotechnology, smallholder farmers, northern region of Ghana, biosafety.